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Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.

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Bouncy Stringers

Question

I have straight-run, open riser stairs (brick wall on one side and open on the other) up two stories. Each flight has about 17 risers. I was planning on using 2x12s for the stringers, but once they were installed (on 3/4" hanger board at top) and the treads were put on, they were still very "bouncy" (they kind of sway - we can push them back and forth) in the center (and kind of scary). Will this "bounce" subside when the railings are installed, or is there some part that we are missing?

Answer

You should put a 2x4 post under the stringer to take this bounce away. Also try to tie the stringer into the brick wall to take out the sway. The railings won't stiffen up the stringers unless they were solid or built like a truss.

Dave

(Ask Dave) (About Dave)



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